NT4 to 2003 w/o downtime?

Discussion in 'Server Migration' started by Guest, Aug 5, 2004.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    We want to add a 2003 server w/AD enabled to an existing
    NT4 Domain. The goal is that once it's up and running all
    the functions of the NT4 server will be migrated to the
    new 2003 server. We do not want to/Cannot upgrade the
    existing NT4 Server (hardware not capable of 2000 or
    2003). The NT4 server (also the Exchange server/main file
    server/print server/PDC/+ everything else) must remain on-
    line while the 2003 server is brought up. Can someone
    point us to a 'how to' that doesn't start out
    either "Upgrade the NT4 Box ..." or "To create a new
    domain ...". Or ... is it possible to bring up a new
    domain, get everything running, migrate the current
    domain, kill off the old domain and then rename the new
    domain to the old domain name?

    Guest, Aug 5, 2004
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  2. Guest

    Sander Guest

    I was in a similar situation and the only thing I found I could do was set
    up a temp NT 4 server and run the upgrade on that. It doesn't need to be
    much of a server, and it only needs to stay up long enough to get the other
    2003 server.
    Sander, Aug 5, 2004
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  3. Guest

    PaulW Guest

    We just did this with no downtime. We did the following:
    1) Loaded WNT4 on new server replacing WS2K3 which came
    with it.
    2) Joined it to the domain and made it the PDC.
    3) Upgraded it to WS2K3 with AD (it looked like a PDC to
    the other NT servers).
    4) Added Exchange 2003 to the new server and did a mail
    move to the new server.
    We had one problem which I am still not sure of how it
    should have been done. When we setup the AD it suggested
    going to a DNS-like domain name so a we selected our
    domain name folowed by .local. All was well until we
    tried to change the domain name of the BDCs. We couldn't
    because it couldn't find a PDC (the PDC now AD was using
    the new name).

    PaulW, Aug 5, 2004
  4. Hey Paul,

    What process / tools did you use for the 'mail-move' ? Did you follow the
    steps outlined in the migration whitepaper from the MS site? We're likely
    going to be doing this in the next few months and we have about 100 users
    and a few gig of data to migrate.

    Did you also move public folders or just the mailboxes?


    TheSingingCat, Aug 5, 2004
  5. Guest

    PaulW Guest

    We followed the migration path in the Microsoft "Exchange
    Server 2003 Deployment Guide". This really wasn't
    necessary as the install wizard takes you through all the
    steps. When you select MIGRATION as opposed to INSTALL
    NEW itplugs in the values of the old servers etc. as well
    as guiding you through forect prep and domain prep.

    After it was done, the mailbox move program has let us
    move people back and forth between the servers. We only
    moved mailboxes. AD setup had already created and
    populated most of the user profile information.

    PaulW, Aug 5, 2004
  6. Guest

    PaulW Guest

    We did a LOT of cleanup of our network before the
    migration including touching stuff we didn't want to
    bother with before since it was working. This included
    DHCP, DNS, WINS, and even LMHOSTS files on some client
    PCs. When we were finished, everyone pointed to only a
    single DNS server (the local one) which pointed to the
    ISPs DNS's as followers. We removed all the stuff we had
    left "Just in case" it was needed so that no garbage
    would be converted to AD.

    We should have changed our internal domain name
    from "ABC" to "ABC.local" at that time.

    in the process of migrating a lare NT 4.0 Domain (lots of
    Data/Printers/Home Directorys/Scripts/Policies). And in
    planning the uprade I want to keep the domain name. And
    eventually change the new "domain controllers" name to
    the old server names after they are unplugged.
    directory. "ABC" is the domain name. And if I change it
    to what they (windows 2k3) want me to change it to
    abc.local I will have simular problems as Paul. The
    Existing domain does not want any change just an Upgrade.
    PaulW, Aug 5, 2004
  7. Hi Randy,

    Thanks for your posting here.

    As for your scenario, I would like to suggest that you try these steps.

    1. Perform a full backup for the existing Windows NT PDC.
    2. Install Windows NT 4.0 BDC on the new server and apply the latest
    Service Pack.
    3. Promote the BDC to PDC.
    4. In-place upgrade the new server to Windows Server 2003.
    5. Install Exchange 2003 on the new PDC.
    6. Move the mailbox from the Exchange 5.5 to the Exchange 2003

    At last, you can add other new Windows 2003 DC and move the other services
    on the original PDC to the new Windows 2003 DC.

    I have included the following for your reference:

    HOW TO: Upgrade a Windows NT 4.0-Based PDC to a Windows Server

    Upgrading from Windows NT Server 4.0 to Windows Server 2003

    Windows NT Server 4.0 Upgrade Guide

    If you have more concern regarding the Exchange part of the upgrade
    project, I would like to suggest that you post the question in the
    following news groups:


    Have a nice day!

    Bob Qin
    Microsoft Online Partner Support

    Get Secure! - www.microsoft.com/security

    When responding to posts, please "Reply to Group" via your newsreader so
    that others may learn and benefit from your issue.
    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Bob Qin [MSFT], Aug 6, 2004
  8. Thanks for the reply Paul, hopefully our switcheroo goes equally as smooth
    when the time comes.

    TheSingingCat, Aug 6, 2004
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